“If you are not good enough before the gold, you are not good enough with it either.”
It was a cold, rainy Friday night. The holidays were upon us and somehow, you convinced me to go and see the Falls City Beavers and Schulenberg Shorthorns play a high school football game. At halftime, the Beaver marching band took the field wearing silver miners’ helmets, complete with three different colored lights shining from the top. The band members – all twenty of them – maneuvered those lights, synchronized to the glorious music of the season, to form a slightly imperfect Christmas tree near the fifty-yard line. To this day, it ranks as the greatest halftime show I have ever seen.
The handwritten letter arrived yesterday in a white envelope, postmarked Houston. There was no return address, but his name – Thomas Jefferson Welder – was printed neatly across the front. He held the pages of her stationery in his lap and rocked the porch swing gently back and forth. A late afternoon sun beat down from a high, blue Texas sky, and a male cardinal explored the grass in the shadow of a large oak tree nearby. Tom had begun to read the passages for a third time when his gaze lifted and sailed onto the summer wind; many days had passed since that night.